Certificates of Occupancy
CERTIFICATES OF OCCUPANCY (C of O) A Certificate of Occupancy must be issued for every live/work (or other) unit before it can be occupied. Normally a Certificate of Occupancy is issued soon after the completion of all work under permit, and after the building permit has been "finalled". In live-work buildings it is possible to do the major work on a building such as a seismic retrofit, installation of corridors and walls between units, and stubbing out utilities for required residential facilities within the units. This is called "shell-construction", and in such cases as a tenant might rent a unit and finish it out herself. She may not, however, occupy it until the work is done and an individual Certificate of Occupancy for it is issued. One other fact worth noting: while an unfinished unit in a shell construction unit building can be sold, most lenders will not fund a condominium without a certificate of occupancy, so work must be completed before the sale is consummated (close of escrow).